Public Lab Research note

Balloon Mapping at Faculty of Science, Olomouc, Czech Republic

by JirkaPanek | June 23, 2014 07:53 23 Jun 07:53 | #10605 | #10605

What I want to do

In April 2014 I tried my first balloon mapping attempt with my students, as a part of Participatory GIS class. We didnt succeed, as I didnt have enough helium, to make the balloon fly, you can read more about our failure in this research note.

This time we ordered MUCH more helium, as our attempt was part of the Science Fair, here at Faculty of Science, so we werent limited my budget :-)


My attempt and results

As in our first attempt, we had basic balloon kit from PublicLab, as a camera I used Canon A2500 with Simple Interferometer Script uploaded via CHDK. We had enough of helium - I would say something about 700 - 800l = 0,7-0,8 m3, The outside temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius and we were in altitude about 200m.

We had two mapping days:

Day 1 - quite windy, we managed to get the balloon up in the air, but the wind moved it far from us, we had lots of blurry and inclined pictures, but we created about 40% of the final picture.

Some of the pictures were quite inclined, but showed the area around the campus quite well...


Day 2 - less wind, we got the balloon in altitude about 250-300m, pictures were much clearer and more orthogonal.

Final map: Out of almost 600 pictures we selected 15 best and used MapKnitter to create a map, available here.

I realised, that I really need to take care of my camera, therefore I created a "special" case for the camera, see pics below.





Questions and next steps

I am going to make a poster of this result and present it at the Faculty of Science, hopefully, I will get funds for another set of helium for more mapping :-)

Why I'm interested


Great work--I admire your persistence! You might also try mapping with a kite on the windier days (and to save helium funds). Best of luck with your poster for the Faculty of Science!

Reply to this comment...

Hi Becki, we tried kite twice, but the wind was always very unstable, so we decided for the balloon. I am planning to try hot-air balloon in summer, I will definitely post my results here. Anyway, thanks for support...


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